Executive Committee

Immediate Past President

KERRI BLACKMAN, ASLA
Landscape Designer

Kerri designs residential and small-scale commercial projects in the metropolitan Washington, DC area. She has also been responsible for project management and crew oversight. Kerri has consulted with over 800 individual clients and successfully completed over 300 design/build projects. She enjoys working with people and is dedicated to each of their unique visions and needs.

Kerri graduated in 2011 from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY with a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture. She was an active member of the ASLA Student Chapter and served consecutive terms as Secretary and President of the chapter. Kerri has been an active member of the Potomac Chapter for the past 5 years, serving as member-at-large, committee chair, and president-elect.

President

MATTHEW JOHNSTON, PLA, ASLA
Associate, MVLA

Matthew Johnston is a registered landscape architect with MVLA, an award-winning design firm in Alexandria, VA.  He received a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning from Virginia Tech and is an enthusiastic member of the professional design community represented by the Potomac Chapter of ASLA.

Matt’s background in international relations, urban planning, and landscape architecture informs his commitment to bring the benefits of design to more people.  He previously served as Chapter Coordinator for the DC chapter of Architecture for Humanity and as a member of the Potomac Yard Design Advisory Committee for the City of Alexandria, helping to shape development in a growing urban corridor.

President-Elect

ANNIE VARMA, RLA, ASLA
Licensed Landscape Architect

Annie has previously worked as Senior Associate with Lee and Associates, a landscape architecture firm in Washington, D.C. and practiced as an Architect in India prior to transitioning to Landscape Architecture.

She holds a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture with a minor in Cultural Heritage and Museum Practices from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from India. Over the past 10 years as a professional, she has worked in diversified Landscape Architecture, Historic Preservation, and Architecture & Planning firms and brings the knowledge of Heritage Conservation and waterfront design based on her graduate study. She has published her work twice and actively pursues and researches green and sustainable initiatives, in both her urban design projects and professional development pursuits. Her most recent work includes a broad spectrum of projects ranging from mixed-use residential, playgrounds and parks, streetscape and public realm design, and master planning projects. She also loves to volunteer for community causes and providing pro-bono graphic design assistance to emerging entrepreneurs.

Trustee

ROBERT B. TILSON, FASLA, PLA
Landscape Architect/PB

Rob Tilson, FASLA, PLA has held many positions for the Potomac Chapter. Most notably, he has served as a two-time President from 1993-1994, two-term Trustee from 1998-2003. While serving in these capacities, Rob represented the chapter on the Virginia Licensure Committee (1998-2001), 100 Parks/100 Years Program Committee (1998), and the Centennial Medallion Program Committee (1998). Rob also instituted and re-organized the Nominating Committee for the Chapter and served as Chairman from 2002 to 2003. He co-chaired the Host Committee for the 2010 ASLA National Meeting in Washington, DC.

Nationally, Rob has served in several capacities including ASLA Vice-President of Professional Practice from 2004-2005. During his tenure as Vice President, Rob helped launch the SITES initiative and revamped the Professional Practice Network program and led the Archive Committee to help establish the Fellows database. Rob also served as the Board of Trustees Representative on the Landscape Architecture Foundation Board (2003). In 2005, Rob was recognized as a Fellow for his service to the profession.

As Chapter Trustee, Rob will concentrate on increasing Chapter visibility with other allied professions and work to promote Landscape Architecture and continue to serve as a leader within the ASLA Board of Trustees.

Rob received his Landscape Architecture degree from Purdue University and has been practicing landscape architecture in the Washington, DC metro area for over 30 years. Rob is licensed in Virginia and Maryland.

Secretary

CARLA ELLERN, RLA, ASLA, LEED® AP BD+C
Landscape Architect, Lila Fendrick Landscape Architects

Carla Ellern, ASLA, LEED® AP BD+C is a registered landscape architect with Lila Fendrick Landscape Architects in Chevy Chase, MD. She received her Master’s in Landscape Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard and would like to spread the word about what landscape architects do through her involvement with Potomac ASLA. In the public sector, she worked for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Montgomery County, Maryland in the RainScapes program where she worked with homeowners and communities to reduce stormwater runoff. She’s interested in improving the environment and people’s lives by expanding green infrastructure and sustainability in our landscapes.

Treasurer

MATTHEW SELLERS, PLA, ASLA, LEED GA
Landscape Architect, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Matthew Sellers is a 21-year resident of the DC area, moving here from Ohio for graduate school at Virginia Tech in Alexandria, VA. His education is in urban planning and landscape architecture. He is a landscape architect licensed in the state of Maryland, and member of ASLA. His professional history includes work with the landscape architecture firms Stephenson + Good (9 years) and Clinton & Associates (5 years). He also taught courses in the Landscape Design and Sustainable Landscapes program at George Washington University (12 years). Matthew’s experience includes the design and construction administration of residential gardens, public plazas, playgrounds, perimeter security master plans, multi-acre mixed-use neighborhood developments, and animal habitats. Currently he is the Landscape Architect at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute providing thoughtful and creative planning and design solutions for the Zoo’s visitors and inhabitants.

Members-At-Large

BRAD BARTELL, ASLA
President, Landscape Architect
Bartell Design, LLC

Brad Bartell has 30 years of international and domestic and private and public-sector experience.  A registered landscape architect, land planner, and golf course designer, Bartell has been involved in the entitlements process and in planning and landscape design of single-family and large-scale residential communities, parks, commercial developments, roadway projects, urban and green street streetscapes, sports complexes, large warehouse projects, office parks, church campuses, and 35 new and 50 renovated golf courses.

With a comprehensive background in construction management, Bartell creates notable, revenue-generating, environmentally sensitive, visually pleasing, efficient projects by shaping design concepts with his extensive on-site work, with each phase of development or redevelopment in the hands of a proven industry expert.

Bartell approaches landscape and hardscape design with the demands of the site, the project vision, and the customer’s wishes, in mind. Materials are selected based largely on their indigenous nature and their adaptability to the site. Harmonizing all the elements of the landscape results in an environmentally sensitive, visually pleasing, efficient system of outdoor space, adding character and value to the development.

CONNIE FAN, ASLA
Landscape Architect

Connie is president of LSG Landscape Architecture, based in Tysons, Virginia, and leads sustainable design efforts for the company. Connie’s work ranges from commercial, institutional, and planning projects to public streetscape revitalization, and her most recent work has concentrated on sustainable site initiatives and smart growth. Connie was recently involved with a ULI Advisory Services Panel for intensive community outreach supporting reclamation of public spaces in the context of an urban highway repositioning project. This collaboration has led to Connie’s increasing work with the social impact of Landscape Architecture. She holds a certification in Healthcare Garden Design. She also actively pursues and researches green and sustainable initiatives.

Connie graduated from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY with a Master’s in Landscape Architecture. Connie’s involvement with organizations in the region includes service on the Planning, Zoning, and related committees in Fairfax County. She has served the Tysons area with contributions to the Park System Master Plan Advisory Group and participation in the Tysons Partnership Urban Design Council and the Sustainability Council. Connie regularly participates in ULI’s Placemaking Council, as well as serving on ULI TAP (Technical Assistance Panel) programs. Among her regional affiliations, Ms. Fan has been influential in the growth of the Greater Washington Asian American Architects and Engineers Professionals organization.

JULES KRINSKY, PLA, ASLA
Landscape Architect, Rhodeside & Harwell

Jules Krinsky is a creative problem solver, landscape architect and urban designer who has worked in the Washington Metropolitan area since 2012.  Currently, Jules works as a Landscape Architect with the multi-disciplinary firm Rhodeside & Harwell in Alexandria, VA.  At Rhodeside & Harwell, Jules works on projects ranging from small local parks to US Embassy projects around the world and everything in between.

Jules received a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of Georgia and a Master’s of Science in urban design at Georgia Tech.  He is a licensed Landscape Architect in the State of Maryland.

STEPHEN E. McLAUGHLIN, RLA, ASLA
Landscape Architect

Steve McLaughlin is a landscape architect from Silver Spring, Maryland, who has been practicing in the Baltimore/Washington National Capital Region for two decades.  Since January 2015 he has been fulfilling a contract with the U.S. Department of State to provide subject matter expertise in landscape architecture as a supervisor of site design for American diplomatic missions world-wide, and as a code official for landscape-related design standards.

Steve has previously been employed with several architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, and other consulting firms of various sizes; serving a broad mix of clientele including the Departments of State and Defense, and other federal agencies, for domestic and international projects ranging very widely in scale and scope.  In a self-employed capacity he has also designed residences, additions, decks, patios and gardens.  His first career was as a U.S. naval officer.

Steve has a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Louisiana State University; is certified by CLARB; and professionally registered in Maryland.  He was previously a member of the Maryland Chapter ASLA.

STEPHANIE ROA, ASLA
Designer, LandDesign
 

Stephanie Roa is a designer at LandDesign – a highly-collaborative design firm offering urban design, planning, landscape architecture, civil engineering and branding services both nationally and internationally. She is a professional landscape architect licensed in her home state of Maryland and enjoys working at a variety of scales ranging from urban mixed-use developments to agrarian-focused master planned communities to small-scale complex site design. As a socially responsible designer, Stephanie is passionate about creating high-performance landscapes that strengthen connections between people and place. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Maryland, College Park and is an advocate for sustainable landscape solutions, achieving both LEED Green Associate and SITES AP credentials. Stephanie is a contributing writer for Land8, where she enjoys writing about the pressing issues and transformative innovations that are driving the profession forward.

MICHAEL STELFOX, Associate ASLA
Landscape Designer, Oehme, van Sweden
 

Michael Stelfox is a designer at Oehme, van Sweden. Previously he led community engagement in Virginia Beach as a Sea Grant Fellow with Clark Nexsen, assisted with a trail study for the National Park Service, and designed for single-family residential, multifamily residential, and commercial landscapes.

Michael earned his Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture from Virginia Tech in 2018.

ABIGAIL THOMAS, PLA, ASLA, CBLP
Landscape Architect, Associate | Ayers Saint Gross

The foundations of Abby’s career lie in her interests of sustainable design and the impacts of environmental and social geographies in the landscape. She is an alumna of Penn State University, where she obtained a BA in Landscape Architecture and minor in Geography. Her education fed her curiosities of how people relate to the landscape and use outdoor spaces, as well as the social and cultural aspects that societies have on the land at all scales. She has found the DMV area to be rich in opportunities to exploit her interests and use her design skills and education to create spaces for everyone.

Both her degree and minor were complimented by studying abroad and exploring places in North America, Europe, and Africa. Abby has experience in community design, commercial-residential design, campus design/planning, and high-end residential design in the Chesapeake Bay region. She is currently an Associate and Landscape Architect at Ayers Saint Gross, where she works primarily on college, university, and hospital campuses. Additionally, she is a member of the Public Relations Committee at Ayers Saint Gross and enjoys participating in the many volunteer and community opportunities there. Abby is currently our Chapter’s Membership Chair.  She likes to volunteer her time to the community when she can, and also takes interest in personal creative endeavors involving graphic design and photography.

DAVIS WALKER
Project Manager, Landscape Architect, and Arborist | Kimley-Horn
Davis Walker serves as a Project Manager, Landscape Architect, and Arborist at Kimley-Horn, focused on landscape architecture/ land development projects. His work predominantly consists of commercial retail, multifamily residential, Parks and Recreation and Public Streetscapes. Davis has a passion for the built environment and all that it impacts. Davis graduated with a Bachelors of Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia. Outside of work, he enjoys fly fishing, boating & golden retrievers. 

Executive Director

Susan Newman

Prior to being named Executive Director of the Potomac Chapter of ASLA, Newman served as Executive Director of Corporate Facility Advisors (CORFAC International), an alliance of entrepreneurial commercial real estate firms. For more than 20 years, she was Secretary General (CEO) of the U.S. Chapter of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI), also serving as interim Secretary General for the international body during part of that time.

With more than 30 years in association management, Newman works with boards and volunteers and is responsible for the administration of the association, as well as membership retention and services.